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Hydroponic Veggies Are Taking Over Organic, And A Move To Ban Them Fails

Many organic tomatoes or peppers are grown in greenhouses, where they get nutrients from water. Critics say that violates the spirit of "organic." A bid to strip them of the label failed this week.
Fluid-fed organic tomatoes grow in a greenhouse owned by Wholesum Harvest in the Mexican state of Sonora, about 30 miles from the U.S. border. Source: Elissa Nadworny

Dave Chapman and dozens of other long-time organic farmers packed a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board in Jacksonville, Fla., this week. It was their last-ditch effort to strip the organic label from a tide of fluid-fed, "hydroponic" greenhouse-grown vegetables that they think represent a betrayal of true organic principles.

"It really goes to in East Thetford, Vt. Abby Youngblood, executive director of the , said that "we're seeing, here in Jacksonville, a lot of support for the founding principles of organic, which are really about soil health, regenerating the soil," rather than simply feeding plants the nutrients that they need.

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